The Insider

updated 10/06/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The birds didn't make it onto any menus as chicken à la King, but Los Angeles' best-known chef, Wolfgang Puck, cooked up a quick salvage plan for the fowl he was preparing to serve at Larry King's wedding reception. As previously reported, the Sept. 6 event was hastily canceled when King and his seventh bride, Shawn Southwick, decided to get hitched at the UCLA Medical Center on Sept. 5 after King's doctors determined he should fly to New York City to undergo an angioplasty. But the chickens, you'll be pleased to know, didn't go to waste. Puck served them at his three main L.A.-area restaurants, Spago Hollywood, Spago Beverly Hills and Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. King meanwhile has been busy hatching new ideas of his own. He tells me he's planning to move his nightly CNN show, Larry King Live, from Washington to Los Angeles. "We'll still do 25 percent of the shows from Washington, but L.A. will be the new base," King says, adding that he and Southwick, who have rescheduled their wedding reception for Nov. 1, also plan to buy a house there....

Although actress Angela Bassett and her fiancé, Courtney B. Vance (The Preacher's Wife), would prefer to keep it under wraps, I'm told the couple have set a wedding date of Oct. 12. According to a source, the ceremony and reception will be held at a private residence in L.A., and the bride's dress will be by Escada. Bassett and Vance announced their engagement last December....

Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie, are in final negotiations with QVC to sell their 80-plus-acre estate in Berrien Springs, Mich., on the Oct. 3 edition of the home shopping channel's show First Friday: Extreme Shopping. Ali isn't expected to do the TV sales pitch himself, but the Alis have set the asking price at $1.9 million and are planning a move back to the ex-champ's native Kentucky....

The Sept. 16 party for the new syndicated action series Soldier of Fortune, Inc. was held in a secure area deep inside the Santa Monica Airport, so everyone who attended the event, including two of the show's stars, Brad Johnson and Melinda Clarke, had to leave their limos and cars behind and travel the short distance to the party in shuttle buses and vans. Everyone, that is, except Jerry Seinfeld. He had the proper ID to drive his Porsche on the tarmac because his pricey car collection is garaged at the airport. Seinfeld, by the way, was there to show his support for Clarke, who has appeared on Seinfeld as one of Jerry's girlfriends....

And finally, one last bit of trivia from the Emmy Awards: Presenters Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner did a brief routine about the history of applause from their comedy classic The 2,000-Year-OldMan. According to the superanti-quated Brooks character, our forebears smacked their hands hard against both cheeks until a caveman came up with the bright idea that if you simply moved your face out of the way, one hand would hit the other—a far less painful way to express appreciation. That joke, in fact, was written by Reiner's son, Rob, when he was 16 years old.

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